little island press is a New Zealand-based community book publisher, founded in late 2007 to publish books that connect people and communities (cultural islands). Evotia Tamua, Tony Murrow and Robyn Bern set up little island press working in and around their fulltime jobs.
Evotia Tamua “little island press was set up by people who love books. Tony and I first worked together on Samoa: Pacific Pride. We share an interest in good books, in good storytelling and we understand that sharing stories – particularly through photographic essays – connects people and communities – cultural islands.”
Tony Murrow “We want to produce high quality, good books, that will respectfully document stories from cultural islands and the Pacific Islands. So our first focus is on photographic essays and stories of Pacific Islands communities. These stories will be told to students, to visitors, to educators and to 'residents' of those communities.”
“We definitely have an emotional and intellectual attachment to the books we produce and see that little island press will occupy a vacant publishing niche here and internationally.”
Robyn Bern “There's no doubt that our focus is on books that need to be published, that should be read; stories that must be told and images that will be noticed. The way we produce and promote our books will reflect this and we'll be distinctive because of that.”
About Evotia Tamua
Auckland-based Samoan photographer Evotia Tamua specializes in documenting the Pacific way of life and people in Auckland, the world's largest Pacific Islands community, and in the Islands – her two worlds. She has exhibited work in New Zealand, Samoa, Australia and in the UK at Oxford University's famous Pitt Rivers Museum. Evotia also works as a successful commercial photographer.
Evotia's work documents and reflects the contrasts between the Western and the new traditions of the Pacific, the inherited and the new, the young and the old. Since her first photograph of Mt Albert Grammar boys at the 1989 Polynesian Festival, Evotia has been documenting the annual Auckland Polyfest and Pasifika Festivals.
Evotia's photography was also the primary content for the books Pacific New Zealand and Samoa: Pacific Pride, which was co-authored by Tony Murrow and has become a Lonely Planet featured work. She has been named one of New Zealand's top 100 Pacific Island achievers – at number 59, just one place below Jonah Lomu. She has been official photographer for the Auckland City Council, Pasifika Festival, Pasifika Fashion Show, Samoan Government and recently Rugby League Samoa.
About Tony Murrow
Tony is the editor of several culturally-focused works including Okusi Mahina's Tongan Proverbs, Bruce Bigg's He Whiriwhiringa, and various Pacific Islands' dictionaries. He was managing editor of Pasifika Press through the mid-1990s, publishing Sia Figiel's Commonwealth Prize winning novel where we once belonged, many children's and non-fiction works including travel guides, histories and biographies, as well as promoting Pacific Islands literature at the Pacific Islands Arts Festival and in the UK.
He is the developer of b-engine, software which renders long documents for the web. B-engine is used by The University of Auckland to make available online:– The Journal of the Polynesian Society – 110 years of quarterly journals from the authority on Pacific Islands academic research, Smithyman Online – a 2,000+ collection of the poems of New Zealand poet Kendrick Smithyman, Early New Zealand Books – a 200+ volume collection of historic books.
He provides technical support to book publishers, book sellers, libraries and tertiary institutions, helping them prepare and translate publications for the web. And he is the author of Business Web (Reed 2007) a web development guide for business managers and owners.
He is a long-standing (of more than 15 years) committee member of the Local Publishers Forum http://www.lpf.org.nz/, an organization that focuses on improving skills and standards in New Zealand book publishing and providing a forum for discussion of key industry issues.
Tony is an editor of trout, an online journal of arts and literature from New Zealand and the Pacific Islands http://www.trout.auckland.ac.nz/. Trout has been published since 1997 and is recognized as a major Pacific-region periodical.
About Robyn Bern
Robyn Bern came on board as a director of little island press in early 2008. Robyn brings her strong and proven background in communications and marketing – connecting people, places, ideas and markets – and an interest in good design and good books.
Robyn started working in Christchurch, in community arts, advertising, and then public festivals. She moved to Sydney and worked for (and in!) the Royal Botanic Garden, writing about and promoting their scientific, environmental and educational work. She then spent a few years in London and managed English National Opera’s fundraising events.
On returning to live in New Zealand Robyn worked on a large very public event (stage managing the launch of Auckland's Sky City Casino) and a more intimate project – the birth of Auckland Ballet. From there she launched herself into the world of communication and information technology. She managed the 'opening' then the media and sponsorship activities of Xtra, software development for Geac, and then two 'translation' and communication projects – with French telecommunications company Alcatel and with Vodafone (in NZ and in Australia). “By translation I mean translating technical information and business speak into language that makes sense across different audiences and is inclusive.”
Her most recent work has been with Yellow Pages and St John – empowering organisations by focusing on clear, consistent, transparent and reliable communication.